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State Leaders, Former Oriole 'Easy' Eddie Murray Highlight Health Insurance Enrollment Option

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Tax season is officially underway, and this year, there's a new feature thousands of state taxpayers may find beneficial.

A handful of state officials were joined by a familiar sports legend on Monday, as they kicked off the new easy enrollment health insurance program for tens of thousands of Marylanders who would benefit from this new program.

"Just say yes to health care, it's that easy," said Orioles Hall-of-Famer Eddie Murray.

"Easy" Eddie Murray is helping people sign up for this insurance program through a campaign.

"Now there's no way you should be sitting at home and not wanting to take care of yourself at least the best of your ability right now, and to have it be free and affordable now, this is awesome," Murray said.

The program is thanks to legislation passed by the General Assembly last year.

"Health care is a right and enrolling more Marylanders with this program will lower the cost of health care for everyone by reducing uncompensated care and getting young, healthy Marylanders into the insurance risk pool," said Maryland House Speaker Adrienne Jones.

A recent report shows that right now there are nearly 398,000 Marylanders under 65 who still remain uninsured.

With the state's easy enrollment health program, officials are striving to reach those in need of health care.

"The eyes of the nation are now on Maryland implementing this program," said senior fellow Stan Dorn with Families USA.

On new state income tax return forms, fliers will be asked if they have health insurance. If they don't have it, they can simply check a box to agree to have the Maryland Health Benefit Exchange inform them about their likely eligibility for free or low-cost health insurance.

"(It) provides access to higher medical care for hundreds of Marylanders (and) doesn't cost the taxpayers anything," said Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot.

The week-long campaign aims to show Marylanders without health insurance -- just like "Steady Eddie" Murray made hitting home runs seemed so effortless -- signing up for health coverage is just as easy.

The radio ad is now airing in the Baltimore-DC area to spread the word about the new health insurance easy enrollment program.

Maryland is the only state in the country doing this and other states are hoping to follow.

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